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Ayahuasca Anonymous

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Join writer and person and armchair comedian Nate Falkoff as he interviews guests to find out how Ayahuasca (and it's lesser known cousin, San Pedro) changed their personal trajectory. Ayahuasca Anonymous is an open ended, conversational exploration of the transformative power of shamanic plant medicines, told through the stories of other people who experienced them. It is also an examination of the collision of Western and indigenous cultures, capitalism and spirituality, technology and nature, and anything else Nate finds interesting.


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Join writer and person and armchair comedian Nate Falkoff as he interviews guests to find out how Ayahuasca (and it's lesser known cousin, San Pedro) changed their personal trajectory. Ayahuasca Anonymous is an open ended, conversational exploration of the transformative power of shamanic plant medicines, told through the stories of other people who experienced them. It is also an examination of the collision of Western and indigenous cultures, capitalism and spirituality, technology and nature, and anything else Nate finds interesting.




Ep. 8 - Sophia Rohklin: When Plants Dream

Sophia Rokhlin is an author, speaker and nonprofit organizer dedicated to supporting the conservation of Indigenous wisdom and territories. Sophia is a co-author of When Plants Dream: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Shamanism and the Global Psychedelic Renaissance (Watkins, 2019), and her research has been featured in publications including the New York Times, PBS, the BBC and others. She has worked with the Environmental Justice Atlas mapping grassroots activism related to commodity extraction in the Americas. She previously served as a Program Coordinator at the Chaikuni Institute, supporting regenerative agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon. Okay, that's the official bio. My UNOFFICAL bio is Sophia has spent a lot of time studying indigenous cultures, participating in ayahuasca ceremonies, and thinking about the issues I like to think about. She also toured with Comedian Shane Mauss delivering talks about Ayahuasca to the public and is unusually articulate on the subject. Read the book! I loved it! If you are interested in/have participated in Ayahuasca--then this book is partially about you and the phenomenon you are a part of. For me, it was a little bit of a splash of cold water to the face, viewing myself as part of a much larger trend/movement. It's also just loaded with information, perspectives, and authors I'd never considered. For the true Ayahuasca nerd. YAS! Speaking of Books, did you know I wrote a novel? Maybe not since I never promoted it on MY OWN PODCAST. What is it about? Ayahuasca of course. And a science experiment gone wrong, the spirit world, technology and mysticism, heart breaks and setbacks, late 20's angst...The Eagle And The Condor. Check it out! https://www.natefalkoff.com/book OKAY, here are some of the things Sophia and I discussed, or at least the ones I wrote down while I was editing before I stopped taking notes. --New research indicating that in ancient history, the Amazon was an agriculturally managed Garden--not a 'wild' jungle. --There is no "original" ayahuasca ceremony. It's a blend of influences that differs from tribe to tribe and is ever evolving as it meets Western culture. --Does Ayahuasca inherently bring you towards an appreciation of nature? Why? --Deconstructing the Ayahuasca culture that may organically emerge from the use of a plant, similar to how there may be a Coffee Culture or a Cocaine Culture. --What are some of the negative sides to viewing Ayahuasca as a benevolent, loving Mother who is saving Humanity? --I criticize over-identification with the Ayahuasca lifestyle and Sophia agrees but points out she wrote an entire book about it and I have a podcast about it. (lol) --"If you don't share your medicine it'll make you sick." How and when to share your experiences with humility? --Difficult Ceremonies as a great equalizer --Our personal health is inextricably linked to our environment --As a culture we are starved for Rites of Passage. Ayahuasca and other ceremonies feed a deeply human need to pause, assess, transform --Science/Mysticism are intertwined, both parts of the human experience, only recently have we separated them into incompatible disciplines --Sinister ideas of why right-wing investors might become involved in psychedelic therapy --Sophia teaches me about Astrology and Chakras at my insistence.


Ep. 7 — Stephen Harrod Buhner: Gaia's Mind

Stephen Harrod Buhner has been called an Earth poet, bardic naturalist, and an herbal philosopher, as well as one of the most accomplished writers on medical herbalism in the United States. He is the multiple-award winning author of 23 books, a score of memoir and fictional short stories, and numerous nonfiction articles. He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society - especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology. I was first introduced to Stephen’s work through my encounters with Lyme Disease–of which Stephen is (in my words) the preeminent expert. He essentially wrote the Bible of how to understand the disease and treat it effectively yourself with herbs (spoiler, it works). Later I discovered Stephen wrote twenty two other books on far-ranging topics across many disciplines, incorporating radically subversive ideas about intelligence, ecology, environmentalism, science, mental health, and perception. I wanted to discuss “Gaia Theory” with Stephen–the idea that the Earth is a sentient, self regulating organism, and how that overlaps with the ayahuasca experience–and discuss we did. Also in this episode are: And so much more that if you're not curious already, there is no point in me typing the rest of it, so go to the mall instead (and pick me up a Cinnabon).


Ep. 6 — Claudia: Integrating Science and Spirituality

Claudia is a social scientist whose research examines the medicalization of psychedelics' and the broader decriminalization movement. We talk about the dynamics of legalization, decriminalization, and corporatization of psychedelics. More personally, we examine the enormous benefits of psychedelics used in group settings, the importance of rules and creating a safe container for healing, working with trauma and depression, how we view our long term growth from plant medicines, spirituality, and more! Read Claudia's article about decriminilization here: https://chacruna.net/why-psychedelic-researchers-should-not-push-back-against-decriminalization/?fbclid=IwAR3261tfmQL6eIumRmh3KHuQSfUjKl058GRDGcmj-7TT7bcQIQ91JlP15oI


Ep. 5 — Kai Cameron

We're back! Pardon the brief hiatus. The world is changing! I am changing! You are changing! But lets forget that for a moment to produce and consume more content. Yay! In this episode I speak with Kai Cameron, who at the age of 20 grew disillusioned with going to college and decided to volunteer at an ayahuasca retreat for 6 months. He also did Ayahuasca with his mom when she came and visited him. Wow. I find it super interesting to talk to people who are exposed to ceremonial use of psychedelics at a young age -- not that it makes navigating coming of age any less turbulent or difficult, but it definitely provides a safe container for self discovery, and can be a tremendously formative experience. I wish I'd found it sooner, and I'm glad to have crossed paths with Kai. We talk about what he's learned from his Ayahuasca experiences and the difficulties of coming back to normal society afterwards. He also shares the funniest cautionary tale of 'false wisdom' I've ever heard and we discuss keeping your wits about you amongst the sea of potentially harmful New Age and neo-shamanistic beliefs.


Ep. 4 — Carlos Tanner: Director of the Ayahuasca Foundation

My guest this week is Carlos Tanner, the director of the Ayahuasca Foundation! In 2003, after hitting a rock bottom moment involving heroin addiction, Carlos visited the Amazon to drink ayahuasca. The experience was so transformative that he 1. never did heroin ever again and 2. moved to Peru to study with a curandero for four years, sleeping on a dirt floor with no running water. Eighteen years later, Carlos runs the non-profit Ayahuasca Foundation, a school which teaches the Shipibo plant healing traditions. Carlos and the foundation were recently featured on Zac Efron's Down To Earth on Netflix, and the foundation is also the site of the FIRST western government funded research into ayahuasca to cure anxiety and depression, where they have already managed to prove that ayahuasca produces LONG LASTING relief from depression (continued efficacy after 6+ months) and also causes epigenetic changes in saliva markers (ayahuasca literally alters your genome expression). We talk about how 'trauma' is misunderstood and relative to each person, how negative beliefs shape our health, the problems with the western medical paradigm, viewing medicine as a relationship, and more! Of particular note is Carlos' very articulate, lucid explanation of how ayahuasca can improve your relationship to your self and benefit your life. Since it's rare I get to talk to someone this knowledgeable, during the second half of the conversation, we get into weirder, more psychedelic territory. We discuss the Earth as one interconnected organism, the possibility that all of human history thus far is the gestation period of the Earth's reproductive cycle which will fling us into space like mushroom spores, how Ayahuasca is a spirit and contrary to what most westerners adopt as their belief -- ayahuasca is not actually gendered -- the 'Mother Ayahuasca' mythos is a cultural projection depending on the tradition you drink in (In Columbia, ayahuasca is padrecito, the divine father)... and so much more. If you want to learn more about Carlos, you can connect with him on all the social medias, or visit https://www.ayahuascafoundation.org/


Ep. 3 — John Steiner: Achieving Your External Goals Wont Make You Happy

This episode of Ayahuasca Anonymous is brought to you by Unleash Your Inner Pussy: How to Conquer Your Goals and Dominate Your Life, the revolutionary workshop hosted by Thorax Carnitine. Thorax earned his bachelors in Sports Management from the University of Brussels, his Ph.D in bro science from the Boston Institute of Anatomy, worked as a consultant for the Cleveland Browns 2017 season, pioneered the High Gluten, Zero Carbon Diet, and has appeared on Joe Rogan over 7 times. My guest this week is John Steiner! John is Sinclair from episode 2's partner, the former manager of an ayahuasca retreat, and a great guest. John shares his story of how after overcoming an addiction to opiates, he went back to school, won some medals as a competitive weight-lifter, and scratched everything off his sober to-do list—only to find himself feeling lost and empty. Queue ayahuasca! John and I discuss external goals, the negative aspects of masculinity we notice in ourselves, blaming your partner for them triggering your own inadequacies, how much 'young man' ego we both brought to the world of psychedelics, the difficulty in growing as a person and renegotiating relationships with your family, and MORE! I also share in this episode how having explosive ayahuasca diarrhea in front of my fantasy crush led to a great moment of personal healing . I can't even keep track of all the things John and Sinclair are up to, they might even be leading retreats in Ecuador again this year? Find more about John at https://mysticalheartcollective.com/


Ep. 2 — Sinclair Fleetwood: Healing Is Hard Work

This episode of Ayahuasca Anonymous is sponsored by The United States of America. Use offer code '#JESUSISMYSTOCKBROKER' to get 20% off a footlong hotdog at Costco. My guest this week is Sinclair Fleetwood. Sinclair is the former manager of an ayahuasca retreat center, a psychedelic integration coach, and not shy about plant medicine! No need to go anonymous on this one. Sinclair shares her story of finally breaking a decades long cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and shame through plant medicines, and how her first ayahuasca experience helped her come to terms with her father, who died a violent death in prison. We also discuss 'medicine bros', the trap of trying to 'crack the code' of psychedelic experiences and expanded states of consciousness, the misconception that psychedelics are a magic pill, how unprepared we were for the idea that healing would be hard work, and MORE! Sinclair produces a lot of great content about using psychedelics as medicine. Find more about her work at https://mysticalheartcollective.com/ and check out her new Psychedelic Integration Podcas‪t‬, available at places podcasts are available.


Ep. 1 — Mark: Escaping The Fallback Plan

For the first episode of Ayahuasca Anonymous I'm joined by Mark, who I volunteered with in Ecuador for 3 months at a plant medicine retreat. Last name withheld so corporate bigwigs can't deny him jobs! Mark has a very relatable story of finding himself stuck in life. After a decade of "living it up" in New York City's underground music scene, he was burnt out. He left the city to be a 'normal' person', and instead found himself lost in a stable but boring job, feeling trapped by life. We talk about how Ayahuasca and San Pedro gave him the courage to make a big change and leap into the unknown, ultimately landing him back in the audio world, where he now edits podcasts professionally (thank god, I needed the tips). We also talk about failure, Selling out, parents, the importance of community and vulnerability, what we learned as ayahuasca volunteers vs being guests, the pros and cons of the "retreat" business model, future anxiety during social upheaval, and MORE!